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Digital at the heart: Bromford launches bold new website

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Updated: 02/07/12

Bromford have placed digital at the heart of what they do, launching a bold new social website and receiving praise for its sleek design from experts in the housing sector.

Brave, different and inspirational are words being used to describe the website: Complimentary tweets have flooded in - quite aptly as floods drenched the Midlands and Cotswolds just one day after launch. The website was immediately put to the test as Bromford could communicate important flood information and advice to customers in a quick, efficient way.

Don't just take it from us, here's some initial tweets we've received: 24 Housing - 'Loving the new website'; Inside Housing - 'Really nice, clean, lots of useful info'; The Joseph Rowntree Foundation - 'The website looks absolutely fantastic. Bar set?'; Genesis Housing - "Wowzers, the new website is all shiny new and rather spiffing' and Thames Valley Housing Association - 'Looks great, good stuff'.

With sociability at the heart of the site, Bromford looked to create a web hub boasting interactive and video-rich content. Reflecting Bromford's passion and personality, users can easily engage with the executive team who are individually profiled with easy links to follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The all-new business site includes a high-quality digital image library, designed especially for journalists and other stakeholders, as well as video libraries and a press release section complete with social share buttons enabling key partners, colleagues and media to tweet and share our stories easily. And for the first time, Bromford is going digital with the annual review. Using a new video-feature format, supported with podcasts, the complete review is all hosted within the site.

The customer site shares many of the same features of the business site.

Bromford prides itself on making a real difference to people's lives and helping customers be the very best they can be. The website has been designed to reflect the customer at the heart of our business.

The homepage combines cutting-edge web design, video and social media to communicate with our customers and encourage them to help themselves to our great online services. An interactive kitchen welcomes customers when they arrive at the site.

Customers can click on a fridge sticky note to pay bills or look for a home and click on a noticeboard to get help with employment through our new social network, Bromford Connect. A host of newly produced and informative videos can be accessed by smartphone, iPad or PC - by clicking on a wall-mounted TV screen on the homepage.

Videos feature on key pages throughout a site that is less word-heavy, more enjoyable to use and should make it possible for most customers to find what they want within three clicks.

Seeing the new site come to life is a real source of pride for executive director Nick Cummins, who headed up the year-long project.

He said: "The time was right for us to invest in creating what we are confident will become one of the best websites in the world of housing. And it's all for the benefit of our 38,000 customers across central England.

"We've added great new online services, such as Bromford Connect, to help customers get the very best out of their homes and to be the best they can be.

"At the same time, we've really embraced the use of video and social media so that we can communicate in a more effective way with our customers and stakeholders.

"Video is such a powerful way of communicating with people. Of course, what you'll see in the launch version of our website is only the start - we will keep adding more videos as the weeks and months go by.

"What's more, the technology behind the new site means it works really well for customers if they are browsing on a smartphone or any of the other new mobile devices they use to access the web."

Communications manager Alex Abbotts is equally enthusiastic about the new site. She said: "Over the last 12 months we've seen an explosion in digital communication. Our new website provides us with a great new platform to deliver more engaging content that will prove invaluable to customers and stakeholders alike and we're really excited about what the future will be."